First in a possible series. Newspapers and other publications from 1922 and earlier are in the public domain, and many of them are available online through the Library of Congress and Oklahoma Historical Society websites.
The April 17, 1914 edition of the Tulsa Daily World ran 12 pages. The front page headline was about the peaceful resolution of the Tampico Affair. Mexican President General Huerta offered to make amends for the arrest of American troops at Tampico. (The previous day's edition had a banner headline in red ink above the masthead announcing "War With Mexico Now Imminent / Bloodshed Likely at Track Today.")
Further down page 1, there was news of an arrest in the hatchet murder of Muskogee shopkeeper B. F. Richardson. The accused was Richardson's shop clerk, C. T. Hefler, who had been fired after an argument.
On the upper left of the women's page (p. 7) is the headline:
WORK FOR THE COMING SUMMER
IS BEING PLANNED RIGHT
EXPENSE IS NOT LARGE
Camp Away from the City's Heat
Would Do Much to Reduce Summer
The story was about a committee of Tulsa women pushing for the establishment of a "baby detention camp." No indication of where it would be located. The committee elected the following ladies as the board of directors.
Mesdames J. A. Hull, J. M. Gillette, S. E. Dunn, John Murray Ward, Frank Sowers, Edward R. Perry, Oscar R. Howard, Sim W. Parrish, J. E. Crosbie, Frank E. Shallenberger, O. L. Frost and Frank H. Greer.
(In 1921, Wichita established a "Fresh Air Baby Camp" in its Riverside neighborhood. The building was later used as a Girl Scout hut, then sat empty for many years. At present, the building is being restored to its historical appearance. Fresh Air Baby Camp has a much nicer sound than Baby Detention Camp.)
IN OTHER NEWS:
The April 16 edition noted the paper's circulation on the previous day at 12,650.
Several ads in the paper boost the Tulsa Evening Sun, sister paper to the World, which began publication on December 1, 1913, and had a daily circulation of 4,000. "It has been proven that a morning paper with an evening edition is the solution of taking care of the 'overhead cost' in newspaper publishing."
Some links of interest to me and possibly no one else within a 500 mile radius:
(Remember, "blog" is short for "weblog," a log of things found on the World Wide Web.)
Scottish historic counties game: See the name, click on Clackmannanshire.
1859 Encyclopaedia Britannica article on Ross and Cromarty: "two shires of Scotland, so curiously mixed up in geographical position, and so closely united politically, as to render their description under one head a matter not merely of convenience, but even of necessity." So the article begins. The county of Cromarty "is divided into eleven portions, which are whimsically inserted into various parts of the larger county of Ross, like fragments of a more ancient rock in some newer geological formation." When the George Mackenzie, Viscount Tarbat, acquired the original county of Cromarty (mainly the port of that name and environs), he convinced the government of Scotland to annex to the county all of the other bits of land he owned, between 1685 and 1698. The article goes on to say that Mackenzie's Royston House (later called Caroline Park), near Edinburgh, was annexed to Cromartyshire, and that "many of the houses in the Canongate of Edinburgh belong to different counties in Scotland, from their having been the town residences of Scottish noblemen whose estates lay in those different shires. The total land area of Cromartyshire was estimated at 345 sq. mi.
To deal with the impracticalities of this sort of situation, the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 reassigned detached parts of English and Welsh counties to the constituencies of the counties in which they were geographically located. A companion bill, the Reform Act of 1832 also eliminated representation (for "rotten boroughs") or halved it for some boroughs while creating new constituencies where there had been no representation. (Prior to the act, Old Sarum, an uninhabited hill in Wiltshire, elected two members of parliament.) In 1839, law enforcement and courts were reassigned to the county in which the detached part was locally situate. The Counties (Detached Parts) Act 1844 formally made these odd bits part of the counties which surrounded them, leaving only seven counties in England and Wales with exclaves.
County-Wise is the new website for the Association of British Counties, which "exists to promote the use of the historic counties as a standard geography for the UK." The historic counties movement is a reaction to the frequent reorganization of local government in Britain over the last half-century. Historic counties provide a permanent geographical framework and "fixed popular geography," even as local government boundaries continue to shift at the whim of the national government of the day.The site has a page for each historic county in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The National Library of Scotland's Georeferenced Maps allows you to overlay historic maps going back to the 18th century onto a choice of modern satellite imagery and maps. It covers Britain, Ireland, and Belgium. A slider control allows you to make the historic layer more or less transparent for comparing present-day features to historic maps.
The map at Wikishire overlays historic county boundaries on OpenStreetMap data. It shows the 20-odd exclaves of Cromarty. The map is based on the work of the Historic County Borders Project, which is creating a digital database for use in mapping and GIS. The current boundaries available are based on including small detached parts in the county in which they are situate, but a future dataset will provide boundaries including small detached parts as they existed prior to the 1844 act.
In 1986, the BBC attempted to create a new digital version of the Domesday Book on the 900th anniversary of William the Conqueror's comprehensive survey of his new realm. Participants submitted photographs and descriptive text to document everyday life. The collected materials, which were organized by 4 km x 3 km grid cells, called D-Blocks, were archived on a special type of Laser Disc which required special computer equipment. The data was rescued from digital oblivion, and in 2011, the BBC solicited updated information from around the country. The National Archives now curates the collected BBC Domesday material. In the story of the project, there is a cautionary tale -- make provision for your digital legacy!
In a private venture in 2001, Adrian Pearce set out to 'reverse engineer' the original Domesday data and make it available to any Windows PC - instead of emulating it. In 2004 he succeeded and published the data online, the first instance of a Domesday website. However, on January 27th 2008, Adrian Pearce sadly died and the website was taken off line.
("Sadly died" is an odd formulation. "Sadly" doesn't really modify "died," as it isn't meant to tell us of Mr. Pearce's countenance upon his own demise. It's sloppy shorthand for "we are sad to say" or "we sadly report." Americans use "happily" or "fortunately" in this way, but this misuse of "sadly" seems peculiarly British.)
And then there's this, in the "Frequently Asked Questions" for the 2011 project. It's no longer enough to cringe at the nouns and adjectives used by Mark Twain or Rudyard Kipling; behold the speed of Newspeak's evolution:
The language in 1986 is inappropriate these days
The articles were submitted in 1986 and the language used may differ from what we feel is acceptable today. However, this is now a historic record and therefore we have republished it intact.
ALSO SORT OF RELATED:
Voices from the Dawn has an interactive map of Ireland's ancient monuments. Click a hotspot and read an article about the folklore surrounding standing stones, dolmens, and the like, and view a virtual reality photo of the monument and its surroundings. It turns out a place we stayed 20 years ago this June, Holestone House, near Doagh, Antrim, Northern Ireland, was named for a famed 4 1/2 foot-high slab of rock with a hole through it. Engaged couples clasp hands through the waist-high hole as a symbol of betrothal, a custom that goes back for centuries.
We saw another of the monuments on the next year's trip, the Kilclooney Dolmen near Portnoo, County Donegal. I remember my wife's consternation when I told her we were going to see a dolmen, but couldn't (wouldn't, she thought) tell her what it was. No one really knows, although they're also called "portal tombs."
The filing period has ended for the 2014 Tulsa city elections. All races this year are for two-year terms.
City Auditor Cathy Criswell, District 5 City Councilor Karen Gilbert, and District 8 City Councilor Phil Lakin were re-elected with out opposition.
Five districts which drew three or more candidates will have a primary in June, with the possibility of a candidate winning outright with more than 50% of the vote. If no candidate reaches that threshold, the top two will be on the November general election ballot.
Jack Ross Henderson, 63, 2014 N. Rosedale, 74127, incumbent.
Denis Palmer, 61, 707 E. Mohawk Blvd., 74106
Vanessa Hall-Harper, 42, 2020 W. Newton St., 74127
Jeannie Cue, 60, 5313 S. 32nd West Ave., 74107
Aaron L. Bisogno, 27, 7722 S. St. Louis Ave.
Lydia D'Ross, 50, 7742 S. Victor Ave., 74136
Blake Ewing, 35, 1323 S. Frisco Ave., 74119
Dan Patten, 29, 107 N. Detroit Ave., Suite 300, 74120
Julian Morgan, 28, 418 S. Peoria Ave., 74120
Elissa K. Harvill, 1722 S. Carson Ave., Apt 1806
Skip Steele, 64, 13380 E. 33rd St., 74134
Arnie Murillo, 38, 13029 E. 27th Pl., 74134
Connie Dodson, 46, 13302 E. 28th St.
Eric Turley, 44, 9215 E. 59th Pl., 74145
Anna America, 50, 6849 E. 56th St., 74145
Arianna Moore, 27, 3801 S. 93rd East Ave., 74145
Two districts which drew two candidates each will be on the November ballot only.
David Patrick, 5712 E. Tecumseh St., 74115
Virgil Lee Wallace Sr., 1564 N. New Haven Ave., 74115
G. T. Bynum, 3607 S. Florence Ave., 74105
Paul Tay, 4004 S. Toledo Ave., 74135
Today is the final day of the filing period for the 2014 City of Tulsa elections. For the first time since 2011, all nine council seats are on the ballot at the same time, along with the City Auditor's seat.
You may find this news puzzling. Yes, there was a filing period last week. That was for state and county offices. No, I don't know why Tulsa had to be different. The language adopted by Tulsa (second Monday in April) will sometimes result in a filing period the same week as the state filing period (overlapping on Wednesday) and sometimes result in a filing period the following week.
This election marks the end of over five years of thrashing about with terms and election dates. In 2008, Tulsans voted to approve a charter change to move elections from the spring of even-numbered years to the fall of odd-numbered years. This was a wise move. It allowed campaigning candidates to take advantage of warmer weather and longer days, and put the elections at a normal time of year for voting, while maintaining separation from national and state elections, so that voters could focus on local issues.
A couple of years later, Tulsans voted to change the council terms of office to a three-year term, staggered so that no more than three seats would expire in any given year. 2011 was to be the last all-council election. Seats 1, 4, and 7 were up in 2012, seats 2, 5, and 8 in 2013, and seats 3, 6, and 9 in 2014. There were conflicts with state-authorized election dates in the even-numbered years.
In 2011, the same year that staggered terms were set to begin,
Tulsans for Badder Government Same Old Tulsans Save Our Tulsa successfully pushed initiatives to move the council back to a two-year term and to move city elections to the even-numbered years, and to make council elections non-partisan. (Their at-large councilor proposition failed.) The three-year terms for the councilors elected in 2012 and 2013 and the city auditor elected in 2013 were truncated so that all seats would be up for election in 2014. The Mayor's office will next be on the ballot in 2016, along with the auditor and all nine councilors -- barring another charter change.
I opposed the Save Our Tulsa charter changes for a number of reasons, including the sense that non-partisan city elections sharing a lengthy federal and state ballot would be ignored by voters, volunteers, media, and candidates. The dearth of filers for this fall's election seems to bear out my predictions.
As of the end of the second day of filing, there are only three contested seats. It looks like three councilors who have shown a degree of independence from the city establishment are being targeted for defeat: Jack Henderson in District 1, Blake Ewing in District 4, and Arianna Moore in District 7.
Two of the challengers are the campaign managers from last year's mayoral race: Danny Patten, Dewey Bartlett Jr's campaign manager, is challenging Ewing, and Anna America, Kathy Taylor's campaign manager and a former Tulsa School Board member, is challenging Moore. It may well be that these two folks made independent decisions to run, but I suspect both will have substantial establishment backing.
The other six councilors and the new city auditor are as yet unchallenged, but all have filed for re-election. They are:
City Auditor Cathy Criswell: In 2013, she defeated incumbent Clift Richards.
District 2 Councilor Jeannie Cue
District 3 Councilor David Patrick
District 5 Councilor Karen Gilbert
District 6 Councilor Skip Steele
District 8 Councilor Phil Lakin
District 9 Councilor G. T. Bynum
It would be a particular shame if David Patrick draws a bye in the first election following the death of former District 3 Councilor Roscoe Turner. Turner and Patrick faced each other in every election since 1996 (except the 1998 special, when Patrick's sister took his place), either in the Democratic primary or, when Patrick changed his registration to independent, in the general election.
District 3 includes most of the area north and east of I-244 and US 75, plus the area north of 11th Street between Sheridan Road and I-44.
We need a council full of Roscoe Turners (and a mayor of that caliber as well) if we want city boards and commissions to be responsive to the concerns of citizens in all of Tulsa. That process starts today, by making sure that each of our city elected officials are held accountable to the voters in a competitive election campaign.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Filing for City of Tulsa offices is at the Tulsa County Election Board, 555 N. Denver Ave., in the former "Mission style" Safeway supermarket with the arched roof. You'll need a notarized declaration of candidacy and a $50 cashier's check.
Here is a current map of City of Tulsa council district and precinct boundaries.
Dr. Jeffrey Myers, a great-grandson of W. Tate Brady, posted a comment today on a BatesLine entry from July 2013 ("The Brady name game") regarding the renaming of Brady Street in Tulsa. Controversy over the early Tulsa civic leader's connection to racist organizations resulted in a bizarre City Council compromise that renamed Brady Street within the Inner Dispersal Loop to Matthew B. Brady Street, honoring the Civil War-era photographer who had no connection to Tulsa.
Below is Dr. Myers's comment, which is unedited, except for the addition of an authorship line to ensure it is properly attributed.
What´s in a Name: The Legacy of Tate Brady [by Dr. Jeffrey Myers]
As one of the great-grandchildren of W. Tate Brady, I was deeply saddened to learn of his affiliation - direct or indirect - with racist organizations. Although he died long before I was born, we great-grandchildren often heard of his deep affection for "Tulsey Town" and his coining of the term "Tulsa Spirit".
Personally, I have never thought of "Brady" Street simply as a personal tribute to one of Tulsa´s founders, but rather a reminder of one of the most eventful and "spirited" chapters in the history of the city - with all of its triumphs and tragedies, virtues and vices, successes and failures. To preserve a name - including both the achievements and the shortcomings it represents - serves to convey historical identity.
In some ways, Tate Brady can be said to have been a child of his times. He was a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in a young city painfully divided along racial lines. He was a man filled with larger-than-life dreams, as well as inconsistencies. Having joined the Ku Klux Klan as a young man, he later renounced the group, going on to support an anti-Klan gubernatorial candidate for election.
If I am not mistaken, though, he is being judged for one substantiated act of cruelty which, despicable as it is, remains one single act. I am not aware of any evidence of his complicity in other crimes, nor is there convincing evidence linking him to an active role in the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. Fortunately, times have changed; needless to say, actions must always be understood and judged in the context of those times. Historical revisionism is sometimes tempting, but often self-serving.
It has been said that Wyatt Tate Brady was known for hiring African Americans to work in his hotel and other businesses. Not long before she died at the age of 104, Mabel B. Little, a survivor of the Tulsa Race Riot who was once employed by Brady, recalls in her book, Fire on Mount Zion: My Life and History as a Black Woman in America (1990): "Another man, Mr. Tate Brady had good feelings for black people. He hired several black boys as porters. But he told them up front, "Listen, boys: I'm gonna train you so you can get your own businesses someday."
I´ve always liked the fact that this historical street north of Main only bore a surname - and not a first name, thus pointing beyond itself, not only to the larger Brady family - many of whom loved and gave generously of themselves and their gifts to Tulsa, but also to the wider family, named and unnamed, of pioneer-spirited Tulsans. The name Brady invokes that which is unique to Tulsa - not only at its best, but also that which needs to be transformed and redeemed, individually and together.
In a moment of larger vision, W. Tate Brady was once quoted as saying: "Indian and white man, Jew and Gentile, Catholic and Protestant, we worked together side by side, and shoulder to shoulder, and under these conditions, the 'Tulsa Spirit' was born, and has lived, and God grant that it never dies." Though framed in words from another era, this vision would seem to capture the magnanimous, unifying "spirit" of Tulsa - the direction surely intended by the street sign bearing the name "Brady".
I've been told that Leon Russell's voice is being used to greet travelers at the Tulsa International Airport, and that, in his greeting, he mentions seeing world-renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz at the Tulsa Municipal Theater, now known as the Brady Theater.
Heifetz appeared in Tulsa, at what was then known as the Convention Hall, many years earlier, on March 16, 1922, as part of a blockbuster concert series that included ballerina Anna Pavlova and pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.
The performers for the rest of the series are not well-remembered today, but they were famous at the time: Frances Alda (operatic soprano), Royal Dadmun (baritone), John McCormack (Irish tenor), Flonzaley Quartet (string quartet).
At the time, $10 got you season tickets for the best seat in the house. In inflation-adjusted terms, that's $15 per show. Individual tickets ran from $1 to $3, plus 10% war tax.
A newspaper advertisement for the series appeared on page 12 of the September 25, 1921, edition of the Tulsa Daily World:
Don't know for sure, but I suspect that the Carson Concert Series was the forerunner for Carson Attractions, which handled tickets and booking for the Tulsa Assembly Center for many years.
1922 was not Heifetz's first visit to Tulsa. He also appeared at the Convention Hall on March 4, 1919. Ticket prices were 50 cents cheaper than they would be in 1922.
A remarkable and detailed 1921 map of Tulsa is available for viewing online, from the Special Collections of the University of Tulsa McFarlin Library. The inset map shows the entire city, and is captioned;
A Ready Reference and Guide Map to Tulsa's
OFFICE & PUBLIC BLDGS. CLUBS, R.R. PASSENGER &
FREIGHT DEPOTS, SCHOOLS, CHURCHES, PARKS &
CEMETERIES, PAVED & UNPAVED STREETS & NAMES,
STEAM, INTERURBAN & STREET RAILROADS,
FIRE PLUGS, CITY & FIRE LIMITS
Subdivisions are clearly labeled. Around the edges of the map are alphabetical listings of the categories mentioned above, plus banks, streets, hospitals, apartment buildings, and hotels. The street car and interurban lines are very easy to spot.
The outer part of the map depicts "Tulsa's industrial and commercial district : showing office and public bldgs. R.R. passenger & freight depots." It is more detailed, labeling individual buildings, and it covers a solid rectangle from Denver to Hartford, Easton to 5th St., plus extensions in to the west (to Frisco between Easton & 2nd), to the east (to 3rd & Madison and Admiral & Owasso), and to the south (to 12th and Main). Beyond these areas are residences and farmland.
Two publishers are listed on the map, the Dean-Brumfield Co. of Tulsa and the Standard Map Co. of Chicago.
Also in the collection is the Fowler & Kelly Aero View of Tulsa, 1918
The only disappointment about these two maps is that they appear to have been converted to JPEG format, which is great for photos of real life, but produces annoying blurs and other artifacts as a result of its lossy compression algorithm. PNG, a lossless compressed format, would have been a better choice.
UPDATE: Paul Uttinger provides a link to a better copy of the Aero View of Tulsa, 1918.
On April Fools' Day, next Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Tulsa County voters have a special election to raise taxes to pay for an addition to the Tulsa County Jail and a brand new juvenile justice facility. I will be voting no on both questions.
Ronda Vuillemont-Smith of the Tulsa 9/12 Project has run the numbers and says we could meet the claimed needs from expected Vision 2025 surplus funds.
Tax-increase supporters are saying we can't commit the Vision 2025 surplus until the final penny is collected, but that's not so. There's a clear precedent: On July 18, 2006, the Tulsa County Vision Authority met to authorize the allocation of $45.5 million of the projected Vision 2025 surplus to fund completion of the over-budget, starchitect-designed BOK Center arena. That was a full 10 years before the tax expires. Now the expiration date is only 2.75 years away; surely the county financial wizards know exactly how much principal and interest we owe on bonds, what's held in reserve, what's committed on any remaining projects. The only unknown is exactly how much more tax we're likely to take in on sales between now and December 31, 2016 (with the final payment from Oklahoma Tax Commission in February 2017), and we can make a pretty good estimate of that for such a short term.
Tax-increase supporters are saying we can't use the Vision 2025 surplus for anything except economic development projects. But surely the creative minds that crammed an arena, school books, a health clinic, and college buildings under the "economic development" ballot heading (Prop. 3) in 2003 can find an economic development rationale for a juvenile justice facility. And Prop. 4 of Vision 2025 was "capital improvements for community enrichment" -- surely a jail pod and juvenile justice facility would qualify. And if there were any doubt about whether they'd qualify, a public vote to abolish and re-enact those taxes for these new purposes would take care of the legalities.
Tax-increase supporters are saying that we promised the suburbs $45.5 million of the surplus for "fun money" because Tulsa got $45.5 million extra for the arena. But in 2007, during the debate over the River Tax, officials denied that any such commitment was made:
Miller claims that we can't predict if there would be enough surplus, and if there is any, it's already been promised to the suburbs for unspecified projects.
But I'm told that no such projects have been approved by the Tulsa County Vision Authority and no such commitment was made. Mayor Taylor denies that any such promise was made.
The Tulsa County Vision Authority is the only body authorized to repurpose Vision 2025 funds, so where are the meeting minutes where these reallocations to suburban projects were made?
Is there enough money left? Page 48 of the February 2014 Vision 2025 report (Funding Report as of 3/4/2014, p. 4 of 4) says that the current funding for all projects totals $573,458,804.20. Page 43 of the report has the total tax receipts as of February 9, 2014, at $547,256,173.29. At the current rate of collection of about $5 million per month, we will reach full funding in about five months. From that point forward, everything else the tax collects should be gravy, unless some important facts have been left out of the report. That means, using the county's very modest growth estimate, $157,068,231.53 remaining and uncommitted. That's enough to fund the suburbs' special projects and the jail and juvenile justice facility.
In 2005, Tulsa County officials said if "4 to Fix the County II" passed, they'd fix the juvenile justice center for about $2.5 million. In 2012, they asked for $38 million as part of Vision2 to build a new juvenile justice center. Now they want $45 million, plus who knows how much interest to finance that amount over 15 years. Should we trust them? What is the basis of estimate? Are there less expensive alternative locations?
Sometimes it seems that we have exactly one county elected official that puts our interests above the empire-building impulses of some county officials. County commissioners who were looking out for our best interests would first give us the choice to repurpose expected surplus funds and use a tax hike as a fall back, not the other way around.
Two arguments in favor of these tax propositions puzzle me, One is the sheriff's argument that the jail has effectively become a mental health treatment facility for many inmates, so we need a special pod for people with mental illness. Maybe we just need to work with social service organizations to keep such people supervised and appropriately medicated.
The other puzzler is the complaint that, in the current juvenile facility, juvenile offenders and juvenile victims are waiting in the same waiting rooms, Why would you send juvenile victims of crime or juveniles in family transition to the same facility of juveniles that are accused of committing a crime?
Rep. Jason Murphey (R-Guthrie) calls shenanigans on dumping more money in the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM) money pit:
Several days ago the State Senate approved Senate Bill 1651 in another attempt to use taxpayer funds to complete the construction of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City. The bill, if approved by the House and Governor, would spend another 40 million taxpayer dollars on the project.
The cultural center has already been provided with three allocations of $33M, $25M and $5M. The appropriations were funded with debt part of which still haunts the state budget and will continue to do so for many years....
Murphey went on to summarize a performance audit of the Native American Cultural and Education Authority by State Auditor Gary Jones that found "a number of inconsistencies and deficiencies that can be attributed to improper planning," a failure to implement best budgeting practices, and exploration of alternative plans and less expensive options. He writes, "It's hard to believe that Oklahoma lawmakers are so gullible as to suggest that the fourth time's the charm and this money will not also be wasted, contrary to all previous evidence." He reports that he has received more unprompted email from his constituents on this topic than any other, almost all opposed to putting more money into this failed project.
Oklahoma's tribal heritage is certainly worthy of celebration and promotion, and we have many museums, cultural centers, and historical sites, some run by the tribes, some under our state parks department or the state historical society, some under independent non-profits. Tulsa, in particular, ought to pursue tourists with an interest in American Indian history and culture, selling our city as the logical home base for day trips to Tahlequah, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Pawhuska, and elsewhere, not to mention our own sites of significance, like the Gilcrease Museum, Creek Council Oak, and Perryman Cemetery.
Oklahoma City, on the other hand, is in the Unassigned Lands, opened for settlement by land run 125 years ago next month. It's located in one of the few parts of the state (along with the Cherokee Outlet, No Man's Land, and Old Greer County) that isn't considered Indian Country under Federal Law.
It seems to me that placing a catch-all Indian museum in Oklahoma City is all about Oklahoma City cashing in on tribal tourism at the expense of the rest of the state, drawing tourists away from historic sites and tribal cultural museums in other parts of the state. If anyone should pay for the AICCM, it should be Oklahoma City taxpayers and philanthropists.
Rather than dump another $40 million into a new facility, Oklahoma's focus ought to be on better promotion of the sites that already exist. We should want to entice visitors to venture off of the interstates to our smaller cities and towns, rather than provide them an easy-on, easy-off, fast-food drive-thru version of our state's rich Indian history. The state could fund longer hours at our welcome centers and add small exhibits and brochures to help people find Indian heritage sites. The tourism department could provide an online guide and a mobile app for planning a visit to Indian sites and events.
State funding is for building up the whole state, not for fattening an imperial capital at the expense of the provinces.
Don't miss Murphey's insight into the preeminent force behind this kind of spending:
It is never good when a government entity is suddenly empowered with a rapid cash infusion and the spending of millions of dollars of other peoples' money. The officials who oversee that entity all too often give in to the temptation to build an empire and spend the money of future generations at the suggestion of the massive army of vendors who benefit from the excessive spend.
From the NACEA audit:
The Board self-imposed certain challenges; the Legislature requested neither a world-class facility nor one that would draw hundreds of thousands of both international and domestic tourists to the southern side of Bricktown in Oklahoma City. The Board chose "the Vision Plan," the most elaborate and expensive of the options provided by the project architects in 2004. Projects on such a grand scale require substantial funding, however, and at no time has the Board's available funding closely approached its projected expenditures. It is reasonable to expect that funding shortfalls might lead to a reevaluation of the plans by the Board; if an everyday citizen loses his or her job, he or she might eliminate cable service, a gym membership, or weekly pizza night. The Board has taken the opposite approach, and rather than evaluating less costly options that would still allow construction of a world-class facility, has maintained their vision, with an expectation that taxpayers will foot the bill.
The audit's recommendations and six options for moving forward are worth reading.
I. Marc Carlson, Librarian of Special Collections at the University of Tulsa, has several personal webpages containing his research on the Tulsa Race Riot and other historical topics. I just found out about this material earlier this evening and wanted to preserve the links for future exploration:
Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 by I. Marc Carlson: WordPress site, principal location for collected documents and analysis.
Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 original website: Hand-coded website that still has some important material.
Public-domain photos of the Tulsa Race Riot, with descriptions and commentary
Carlson takes a "just the facts" approach to the material, placing the greatest weight on first-hand accounts recorded close to the time of the events and documents of the time, separating evidence from widely-circulated legends. You can read his statement of methodology here. Among his projects are a timeline of the Tulsa Race Riot and a list of the Tulsa Race Riot known dead and wounded, with the source of the information and, if known, the address for the victim as found in contemporary directories.